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Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423

Zeuxis was born in Heraclea sometime around 464 BCE and was said to be the student of Apollodorus. Parrhasius (or Parrhasios) of Ephesus was a contemporary of Zeuxis. Both artists produced works on both wooden panels and frescoes on walls, unfortunately none of their work survives. The two were said to be the best painters of the fourth century BCE. The elder Pliny recorded a myth surrounding a competition between the two painters. It is said that Zeuxis created grapes that were so realistic that birds saw the image and attempted to eat then. Shortly after he went to view Parrhasius painting, and asked that the curtain be lifted so he could look at the image only to discover that the curtain was itself the painting. Zeuxis acknowledged his defeat, because while he had tricked birds the curtain of Parrhasuis had deceived a man and fellow artist.

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Whitley, James. The Archeology of Ancient Greece. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

by Alicia Hernandez